Sunday, May 06, 2012

1 + 1 = 3

Dispensationalists believe that God made promises to ethnic Israel, to Jews who are blood descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God planned to bless Gentiles and the world, but he still owes promises to ethnic Jews.

This is the most fundamental tenet of Dispensationalism. However, it is a presupposition that presumed and never proved.

In recent posts, I have explored some of the problems of defining Israel strictly by blood. Dispensationalists seem blissfully unaware of these difficulties.

You will search Dispensational works in vain for any serious discussion of how to define Israel. Over and over again, you will only find bare assertions about promises made to ethnic Israel.

Yet, defining Israel was never strictly a matter of blood. It was always a matter of religion. Blood was a factor, but it was not the factor.

From the very beginning, there was always pruning and grafting. Apostates were pruned out of Israel. Believing Gentiles were grafted into Israel. It was never about the blood. From the beginning, it was always about religion.

When Dispensationalists insist that God made promises to ethnic Jews, they are making a critical, foundational error.

It is such a basic, simple error, that non-Dispensationalists have a hard time taking Dispensationalism seriously. This is not because Dispensationalists are stupid. Yet, they have made an elementary mistake.

It is like a brilliant mathematician who thinks he has solved a complex equation, only to be shown by a colleague that he has made a simple arithmetic mistake on page one.

When Dispensationalists continuously insist that God still owes promises to ethnic Jews, all I hear is 1+1=3.

Lately, Dispensationalists have ratcheted up the rhetoric, with charges like “supercessionism,” “replacement theology,” and “anti-Judaism.” I find none of these compelling in the least. They all depend upon defining Israel strictly by blood.

But 1+1≠3.

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